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Workplace complementary and alternative therapies for hospital‐site staff

Oonagh Meade (Institute of Work, Health and Organisations, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Sara Jane MacLennan (Academic Urology Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK)
Holly Blake (University of Nottingham School of Nursing, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK)
Neil Coulson (Institute of Work, Health and Organisations, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 25 September 2009




Workplace wellness schemes are emerging in NHS settings, including complementary and alternative therapy services aimed at improving employee wellbeing. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of one such therapy service on service users based at a large UK teaching hospital.


In‐depth semi‐structured interviews were undertaken with seven staff members who participated in at least one workplace complementary or alternative therapy. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach was taken in the design of interviews and the analysis of interview data.


The following themes were elucidated: having positive but tentative expectations of therapies; enhancing health and wellbeing through therapy; appreciation for the “Q‐active” therapy service as part of a workplace wellness programme; and work influencing therapy use and vice versa.


The study adds to the limited research literature evaluating workplace health interventions by using an interview‐based qualitative approach to access employees' experiences of this type of workplace complementary and alternative therapies. Valuable insights were gained about the significance of this particular aspect of a larger workplace health programme. The emergent themes build on the existing literature on individuals' expectations and experiences of complementary and alternative therapies and also on the potential benefits of such a service for workplace health promotion.



Meade, O., MacLennan, S.J., Blake, H. and Coulson, N. (2009), "Workplace complementary and alternative therapies for hospital‐site staff", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 258-271.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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